The Democratic National Committee has upped its diversity quotient with the election of Babs Casbar Siperstein as the first openly transgender member of its executive committee.
Siperstein, of Edison, N.J., was named to the committee over the weekend at the DNC’s fall meeting in Chicago, reports the blog Blue Jersey. She became the first out trans person on the DNC as a whole in 2009 and “now rises to help lead the national Democrats, joining [the DNC’s] top-most leadership committee,” writes a Blue Jersey contributor.
She has been a Democratic donor for about 10 years and was a delegate to the national convention in 2004. She also has been vice chair of the DNC’s eastern regional caucus, a post she will give up for the executive committee.
She has worked hard for transgender visibility and interests within the party, according to Blue Jersey. When she first became active, she told the blog in a recent interview, “all [party members] knew about ‘trans’ was baby drag queens. They didn’t know. So they needed to be educated. It’s 100% better now. Rather than confront or turn people off I tried to engage in a positive way.” There has been progress; in 2009 the DNC added gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy.